towcenter
Guide to Crowdsourcing

Updated 8 months ago

Authors: Mimi Onuoha, Jeanne Pinder and Jan Schaffer.

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University for supporting our research. Emily Bell, Liz Boylan, and, in particular, Claire Wardle were an unending source of wisdom, support, common sense, and encouragement. Claire’s expertise in eyewitness media and her clear vision have been immensely valuable.

Our research also benefited greatly from the generosity of our interview subjects, who opened up their schedules and minds to tell us of their triumphs and challenges in this brave new world. To a person, they were thoughtful and candid, and we regret that we could not record every word here to mark and celebrate their contributions.

We are also grateful to those crowdsourcing experts who had already paved the way for our research—both those whom we interviewed and those we didn’t—whose work has nonetheless been instrumental in bringing this practice to where it is today.

Finally, we offer special thanks to a group of people that has unknowingly and significantly affected this report: the community members who have contributed to crowdsourcing projects, giving their time and energy to build a campaign finance database, share what they paid for medical procedures, or create a living compendium of all the people killed by police in the United States. You, community contributors, have demonstrated faith in journalists and a belief that we can work together to create journalism of great substance and meaning.

November 2015